Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Snapshots from a Backwards Blogger

"The Cloistered Heart," I wrote in 1996, "is prayer, a way of life, an experience. It is a heart learning to love God, a will vacillating between yielding to God and struggling against Him, it is encounter, it is poem....  I would like to tell you about this enclosure, this heart monasticism which has truly changed my life; yet I hope you will understand when I say I cannot tell you.  I can only show you 'snapshots' from my own journey into a cloister which I have found to be so beautiful that I never want to leave it again...." (from book The Cloistered Heart, Preface)

Thus it began. Or at least, thus began the preface, written to introduce a book that was taken from my 1993 magazine article that was taken from my journals begun in 1985. In other words, journal entries (i.e. "snapshots") were condensed into an article that was then expanded into a book that, years later, became the basis for a blog which you are now (heroically, since you've made it through this paragraph) reading.

Have I confused you yet? If not, just wait a minute. All our heads will be swimming if we manage to hang in there for this whole post.

The thing is: I blog backwards. Most people seem more likely to "journal" into a blog, then (maybe) a few of them organize some of the content into a book, in time. I've done the exact opposite. I journaled in quiet prayer, or while I rode with my husband in his boat, or when I awoke in the middle of the night. How such random, deeply personal thoughts made the trek from journals to magazine(s) to book(s) to becoming "organized" in a blog is a story in itself. In the meantime, I am growing as these concepts are arranged, here, more and more into categories.  I hope you find the organization (such as it is) helpful as well.

"Snapshots," however, are still being taken. I still indulge in an occasional journal ramble, a working-through-in-writing-scribble of how I can surrender to God in this situation, and that one. In other words; more personal things.

If you will indulge me, I'd like to share some fresh new "snapshots" right here once in awhile. After all, I've been practicing the "view through the grille" for such a long time now. Too bad I still struggle to see it clearly. I'd like to share some of the struggles, now and then.  Maybe once a week or so, in the midst of our regular posts?

As for photography itself, well - that has changed a lot since 1996, hasn't it?  It's all so instant now.  Perhaps cloistered heart journaling could be a bit like that?

Let's see what a new batch of snapshots just might unfold.

The Backwards Blogger, Reggolb Sdrawkcab

Painting: William Holman Hunt


  1. I love the notion of the "backwards blogger" you express. The cloistered heart being "a prayer, a way of life, an experience. It is a heart learning to love God, a will vacillating between yielding to God and struggling against Him,it is an encounter, it is a poem..." And that is sheer beautiful and powerful writing! I am looking forward to the snapshots and your "view from the grille" as your journey in Christ continues to unfold on your amazing blogs. They truly are inspiring and a light for us fellow travelers....So grateful for your gift..

    1. And I am so grateful for your generous words. They make me willing and even eager to share more "snapshots," for better or for worse.

  2. Nancy, I'm looking forward to following you again this year.


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